Tag Archives: statute

Change in State’s Rape Law Proposed

A proposed change in state law on prosecution of rape cases has been made part of the package of legislation proposed to the Shelby County legislative delegation, according to the Commercial Appeal.
Rape carries a statute of limitations of 10 years and aggravated rape has a 15-year statute of limitations. So, even if a rapist is caught and DNA evidence links him to the crime, if the (time set out in the) statute has passed, the rapist can’t be charged.
“I thought, this is so messed up. I don’t know what I can do, but I plan to something about this,” Ybos said.
She did.
This fall Ybos became a member of the Victims of Crime Advisory League (VOCAL), a group created in 2009 to help shape public policy to victims of crime. And she wrote a law.
That law extends the statute of limitations by one year from the date that the DNA evidence identifying the defendant is established.
A similar law was proposed in 2006 for all felonies but died because it was too expensive to implement, Ybos said.
Her law, however, would only apply to rape, aggravated rape and the rape of a child.
With VOCAL’s help, that law has been included in the joint legislative package Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton presented to the county’s state legislative delegation for consideration.
“Rape is a devastating crime,” said Ybos, a law school graduate who is studying for the bar exam. “If we have the evidence to solve it, we owe it to the victims to do everything we can to solve that crime.”

Supremes OK Award in PTSD Worker’s Comp Case

News release from Administrative Office of the Courts:
Nashville, Tenn. – In a unanimous opinion, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that the statute of limitations on a workers’ compensation claim does not begin to run until an employee discovers or, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have discovered that he has a claim.
On June 23, 2008, Steven Ratliff was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) caused by viewing bodies of two co-workers who died in separate workplace accidents earlier that year. Exactly one year after the diagnosis, Ratliff requested a benefit review conference. The employer, Gerdau Ameristeel, Inc., argued that the statute of limitations began to run from the date of the second accident and that the claim was barred. Ratliff contended that the statute of limitations did not begin to run until his diagnosis date. The trial court agreed with employer. However, the trial court determined that Ratliff could not have discovered his injury until his diagnosis and if the statute of limitations did not bar his claim, Ratliff was entitled to an award of 20 percent permanent partial disability.
Today, the Court reversed the trial court’s decision, holding that the statute of limitations began to run on the date of the accident but was tolled until Ratliff discovered his injury. The statute of limitations therefore does not bar Ratliff’s claim because the trial court found that Ratliff could not have discovered his injury prior to his diagnosis. The case is remanded for entry of a judgment awarding Ratliff permanent partial disability consistent with the trial court’s alternative findings.
To read the Gerdau Ameristeel, Inc. v. Steven Ratliff opinion authored by Justice Janice M. Holder, visit http://www.tncourts.gov/sites/default/files/gerdauopn.pdf.

TN Supreme Court Allows Lawsuit Over Priest’s Sexual Abuse

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled Monday that a man who claims to have been sexually abused by a Catholic priest in the 1970s can go ahead with his lawsuit against the Diocese of Memphis.
Norman Redwing, 51, sued the Diocese in 2008, nearly 30 years past the statute of limitations. Typically, victims have only a year after their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit.
The suit claims he was abused from 1972 to 1974 by now-deceased priest Milton Guthrie, and that church officials knew or should have known the priest was “a dangerous sexual predator with a depraved sexual interest in young boys.”
A lower court dismissed Redwing’s suit, saying he waited too long to file. But state law makes some exceptions to the statute of limitations.
Redwing had argued that his case was one of the exceptions because he was accusing the diocese of benefiting from a cover-up. Redwing, according to court documents, said the church mislead him and his family into thinking that church officials were unaware that Guthrie was a sexual predator.

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